East Asian Videoframes: Shades of Urbanization

Research output: Non-textual formExhibitionSolo art productionpeer-review


Engagement with the city through participatory and community art practices has been a common feature in Euro-American art scenes for decades. Such practices were less prominent in East Asian cities up to the end of 1990s, although the first experiments did emerge in Japan by the Gutai group already in the 1950s. The history, styles and forms of such engagement vary greatly from city to city. The focus of this exhibition, however, is on video works and documentaries created in the 21st century in order to demonstrate how artists are examining new ways to understand everyday life and its challenges today in a situation in which more than half of the world’s population lives in cities.
Balancing between the importance of solidarity for livable cities and the threat of alienation and growing inequality, the artist address a variety of questions such as the horizontal vastness of Beijing, the vertical hierarchy of Hong Kong, the social norms of Tokyo, the competitive life of Seoul, and the environmental issues of Taipei and Fukushima. The multiple perspectives resonate and complement each other, illuminating the shared concerns and hopes of urban dwellers and artists alike in the midst of the growing demands of globalization. They respond to Henri Lefebvre’s (1996: 173) call for the capability of art to serve the city not by prettifying the urban space with works of art but by becoming ‘praxis and poesis on a social scale: the art of living in the city as work of art.’ The exhibition elucidates the major themes of the previous three-year video project (started in January 2013) and is the final, additional part of it.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPori
PublisherPori Art Museum
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeF1 Published independent work of art

Fields of Science

  • 6131 Theatre, dance, music, other performing arts

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